Making small resin charms from other projects, then including them in a new project like this resin coaster DIY is a great way to double the handmade fun. This project will show you how fun it is to learn how to make resin coasters with resin leaves and shells you’ve already made.
If you’re asking yourself how to make epoxy coasters without making your own resin charms, don’t worry. You can make these coasters with found objects.
In the tutorial Using Pearl Ex with Resin Two Ways, we made a variety of resin leaves and shells using the same techniques. These are perfect for including in a resin coaster.
Other small items, such as bugs, beads, flowers, or buttons, will work great, too. The items will also need to be smaller than the coaster mold.
Supplies for your how to make resin coasters project:
- Resin items you’ve made previously
- Resin Obsession super clear resin
- Resin coaster mold
- Castin’ Craft Mold Release
- Small mixing cups
- Large mixing cups
- Stir Sticks
- Nitrile gloves
- Resin Curing mat
- Safety Glasses
- Paper dust and filter mask
- Clear dot “bumper pads”
- Cork sheet
- Craft knife
- Craft glue
- Wet wipes
For these resin coasters, I’m using the Resin Obsession super clear resin because it’s a great resin for crafts. It cures hard and durable and won’t dent when you use your coasters.
Decide which way you’re coaster will face
If you want the side facing the table to be the top, you will need to put everything in upside down. Otherwise, if you want the side facing you to be the top, everything will be facing up. It can be much easier to arrange them the way you want if you have everything facing you since you can see exactly how it will look.
Choose what to put in your coaster
Place the charms you want to use into the mold. See how they’ll fit and how you like them placed together.
💡 Pro tip: Take a picture of how you placed your items in the dry mold to use as a guide when putting them in with the resin later.
Spray the mold with the mold release and set it aside to dry for at least 30 minutes.
Before you start mixing the resin, you should put on a pair of protective gloves.
Resin likes a warm, but not hot room. For the best resin curing results, make sure your room temperature is 72F to 74F.
💡 Pro tip: Warming your kit in a hot water bath will help reduce bubbles in the resin. You can use a bowl with hot water or an electric salsa pot for no more than 5-10 minutes.
Version 1: One resin layer
The marks on my resin mixing cups are essential to making sure I get accurate measurements.
Pour a small amount of resin into the coaster mold.
Tip it slightly from side to side. You want only about 1/8” to cover the bottom of the mold.
Drop one of your resin charms into a cup. Spoon resin over it with the stir stick.
Once it’s coated with wet resin, slip it into the mold into the thin layer of resin.
Add more charms, first covering each in resin. Then, use your stir stick to move them around in the mold.
Add more resin to cover your charms. Pour the resin to about 1/8” below the lip of the mold.
Check for bubbles before letting the resin completely cure.
Version 2: Two Resin layers
An easy way to highlight the resin charms in your coaster is to pour a colored layer behind them. So instead of filling the mold completely full for the first layer, you’ll only add enough resin to cover your charms.
Then, after the resin has cured at least 4-5 hours (gel phase), you can add more resin. Or, you can wait until it’s fully cured to add the next layer to the coaster.
Pearl Ex colors are great for making unique hues in resin.
Then, use your colored resin to finish filling the mold.
To help reduce bubbles in the resin coaster, you can use a heat tool or lighter for popping surface bubbles. You might have to use a toothpick or the edge of a clean stir stick to scoop out bubbles that won’t pop. When you have inclusions in the resin, it’s essential to check them, too. Bubbles can get trapped in shapes.
Leave to Cure
Cover your molds with a box or container and wait for the resin to cure. It is always best to cover your curing resin because you don’t want dust, cat hair, or other unwanted things to become part of your project.
Removing the resin coaster from the mold
Your resin coasters should be ready to remove from the mold 12 to 24 hours after pouring your last resin layer. Carefully bend the mold while pressing from the center back of the mold. Continue lightly flexing the mold until you can lift part of the resin coaster free. Because we used mold release at the start, the coaster should come out easily.
When you cast in a mold and don’t fill to the absolute top of the edge or dome, the resin will cure ever so slightly concave. This will leave a sharp and potentially uneven edge all around that’s difficult to show in pictures, but your fingers will feel it.
You can carefully cut away the majority of the sharp edge with a sharp pair of scissors. The resin is pretty thin in this location and can be simply cut away. Make sure you cut around the mold evenly.
You can also sand the resin edge. A nail sander from the dollar store works great because it’s an easy shape to hold in your hand, and the sanding surface is not too coarse. You generally don’t want anything rougher than 400 grit.
Be sure to wear safety glasses and a dust mask any time you’re sanding resin.
💡 Pro tip: If some of your charms stick out of the back of your resin coasters, sand them down a bit.
Adding a Cork Base to the Resin Coaster
Since the shell coaster in this resin coasters DIY has an opaque bottom, this is a perfect time to add a cork bottom. It will also be less likely to scratch any surfaces. You could also use felt for this step.
Trace the mold onto the cork with a pen or pencil. Then, cut it out on the inside of the line.
Slather the cork disc with craft glue. Be sure to get the glue out to the edges and not too thick.
Place the cork disc to the backside of the coaster and press firmly to adhere well.
Adding Clear Dots to the Coaster Base
After the leaves design of our resin coaster project is fully cured, we can finish it, too.
To preserve the transparent look of the coaster, we’ll add some clear dots to the bottom. This will help prevent the coaster from scuffing surfaces and keep it from moving. You can buy bumper pads at hardware or craft stores. They are usually in the area of hardware for hanging pictures or cabinet doors.
Most bumper pads are self-adhesive. Simply peel them off and stick them where you want.
Since I wanted a clean look with the leaves coaster, I placed them behind the opaque leaves. You want the pads evenly spaced, so the coaster doesn’t rock when something is placed on it.
Finished Resin Coasters
Tada! We now have two resin coasters! It was fun making two styles using the same coaster mold. This resin coaster DIY also covered a lot of techniques you can apply to endless resin projects.
Ready to take on more projects beyond resin coasters?
Then you will want to get your copy of the instantly downloadable book, Ten Epoxy Craft Projects. You’ll get inspiration for the days you need resin ideas. Buy the PDF book now and you’ll get an email download link in minutes.
Originally written by Kate Ledum
Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2023 Resin Obsession, LLC